The first of three BLM campgrounds within the Merced River Recreation Management Area is McCabe Flat. The campground is located 2.3 miles west (downstream) from the Briceburg suspension bridge along the Wild & Scenic Merced River.
The Briceburg River Road runs along the historic Yosemite Valley Railroad grade that follows the Merced River. It is an unpaved, dirt & gravel rough road with many potholes, but can easily be navigated with ordinary passenger vehicles traveling within the 15 miles per hour speed limit. Turn-outs are located all along the road. Loop turnarounds are provided in each of the three campgrounds.
McCabe Flat Campground hosts one of the biggest sandy beaches in the area. There is a designated swimming area and no dogs are allowed on the beach. All other areas of the Merced River Recreation Area allow dogs on leash.
Facilities in McCabe Flat Campground (11 sites total):
8 Walk-in camp sites
3 drive-up camp sites
2 vault toilets
1 Port-o-let toilet (seasonal near site 10 and 11)
Trash collection cans
Recycling collection cans
Main parking lot
Overflow parking lot
Designated swimming beach
Self-pay Iron Ranger fee system
There are picnic tables, fire grills, and food storage lockers at all camp sites.
All campsites are within 200 feet of the river
Permits, Fees, Limitations:
Camping is allowed only in designated, numbered camp sites.
Maximum 8 people and two vehicles per site.
Camping is first come, first served. No reservations available.
Camp fee is $10/night. America the Beautiful Pass fee is $5.00/night.
Pay camp fee within 30 minutes of occupying site.
A campsite is rented ONLY once it has been paid in full, pay-stub is properly completed and attached to campsite post, and site is occupied by campers.
No person shall leave any property unattended for more than 24 hours.
Fires are allowed only in provided metal fire rings. (Additional fire restriction may apply, typically no fires or charcoal briquettes allowed by mid-summer).
No person shall enter a developed campground between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, unless that person is a registered camper.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times. No dogs allowed at McCabe Flat swimming beach.
No glass bottles allowed within 1/4 mile of the Merced River.
No lifeguard on duty. Swimming is dangerous any time of year, but especially during spring and early summer. The Merced River is un-damned and the flow changes dramatically from year to year and season to season.
SWIMMING IS ONLY RECOMMENDED BELOW 700 CFS. River flow is posted on-line at: www.dreamflows.com
Potable water is available across the Briceburg Bridge as you head towards the campground facilities. Look for the faucet near the information kiosk. Bring your own water for camping purposes. Potable water is not available at the campground sites.
PLEASE NOTE: Trailers over 18 feet and large RV’s are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge. The old Yosemite railroad grade is accessible by vehicles up to the Railroad Flat Campground. Only equestrian, pedestrians, and bicycles are permitted beyond the Railroad Flat Campground. Commercial lodging is available in the town of Mariposa.
From the city of Merced, located on U.S. Highway 99, travel 40 miles east on State Highway 140 to the town of Mariposa. Then travel another 12 miles along Highway 140 to the Briceburg Visitor Center at the Wild & Scenic Merced River.
There are three developed BLM campgrounds along the Merced River between Briceburg and Bagby. The campgrounds are accessed by crossing the suspension bridge just past the Briceburg Visitor Center and heading down river along the Briceburg River Road (old Yosemite railroad grade). Trailers over 18 feet and large RV’s are not recommended crossing the suspension bridge.
Latitude 37° 35′ 47.7240″ N
Longitude 120° 0′ 12.5640″ W